James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Our Kind Of A Man - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

The kind of a man for you and me!
He faces the world unflinchingly,
And smites, as long as the wrong resists,
With a knuckled faith and force like fists:
He lives the life he is preaching of,
And loves where most is the need of love;
His voice is clear to the deaf man's ears,
And his face sublime through the blind man's tears;
The light shines out where the clouds were dim,
And the widow's prayer goes up for him;
The latch is clicked at the hovel door
And the sick man sees the sun once more,
And out o'er the barren fields he sees
Springing blossoms and waving trees,
Feeling as only the dying may,
That God's own servant has come that way,
Smoothing the path as it still winds on
Through the golden gate where his loved have gone.

The kind of a man for me and you!
However little of worth we do
He credits full, and abides in trust
That time will teach us how more is just.
He walks abroad, and he meets all kinds
Of querulous and uneasy minds,
And sympathizing, he shares the pain
Of the doubts that rack us, heart and brain;
And knowing this, as we grasp his hand
We are surely coming to understand!
He looks on sin with pitying eyes--
E'en as the Lord, since Paradise--,
Else, should we read, Though our sins should glow
As scarlet, they shall be white as snow--?
And feeling still, with a grief half glad,
That the bad are as good as the good are bad,
He strikes straight out for the Right-- and he
Is the kind of a man for you and me!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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